Judiciary Bodies Withhold News of at Least Eight Executions
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – At least eight death row prisoners in Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison were executed in the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 5, 2018.
HRANA was able to confirm the identities of the executed prisoners as Reza Ghasemi; a man identified only as “Zolalzadeh”; Amir Amindokht; Seyed Mahmoud Hosseini; Mehdi Tajik; Akbar Salimi; Kazem Ebrahimkhani; and Shahab Taghizadeh. Most had been sentenced to death on murder charges and were granted a final visit with their families before being put to death.
Two more prisoners who were slated to be executed on the 5th–Aidin Shariatmadari and Gheble Ali Pazouki–were returned to their wards in the eleventh hour when the families of the victims agreed to *absolve them of their alleged crimes.
On September 4th, HRANA reported on the transfer of all ten of these prisoners to solitary confinement, the typical terminus for those facing imminent execution.
True to form, the judiciary bodies responsible for disseminating news on prisoner executions and terms thereof have yet to release information about this morning’s events.
An annual report published by the Center of Statistics at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) states that more than 60% of executions in Iran are not reported by the state or the Judiciary. These executions are referred to as “secret executions.”
According to Amnesty International’s annual report, Iran ranks first in the world in executions per capita. Registered data from 2,945 reports by the Statistics, Publications, and Achievements Division of HRAI indicates that in the past year (from March 21, 2017, to March 18, 2018) at least 322 citizens were executed, and 236 others were sentenced to death in Iran. Among these were the executions of four juvenile offenders and 23 public hangings.
* In the Islamic Penal Code, families of murder victims have the option of Qesas (an-eye-for-an-eye), the receipt of blood money in return for sparing the life of the accused.